Printer Friendly Version

Everyday Art



A Family Portrait
Berthe Morisot<br>French, 1841-95<br><i>The Artist’s Daughter, Julie, with Her Nanny</i>, 1884<br>Oil on canvas<br>Minneapolis Institute of Arts<br>The John R. Van Derlip Fund
zoom Berthe Morisot
French, 1841-95
The Artist’s Daughter, Julie, with Her Nanny, 1884
Oil on canvas
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The John R. Van Derlip Fund

 

The painter Berthe Morisot lived in Paris, France, during the 19th century. At that time, being a serious artist was an unusual occupation for a woman. But Morisot was determined to follow her interest in art and develop her talent into a career.

As a woman, Morisot stretched the rules of society in becoming an artist. Her paintings, however, show women living a traditional life in the private world of home and family. Morisot’s own family members and close friends served as models, posing for her in familiar settings. In 1879, a daughter was born to the artist and her husband, Eugène Manet. Throughout her childhood this little girl, Julie Manet, was often the subject of her mother’s artwork. She was the couple’s only child.

In The Artist’s Daughter, Julie, with Her Nanny, Morisot’s quick brushstrokes captured a simple moment of home life. Julie is watching her nanny, Pasie, doing needlework. Both of them are absorbed in the activity of sewing. Their closeness to each other and to us (they are right up front in the picture) shows that they have a close personal relationship. Through the window, you can see Julie’s father in the garden of their Paris home. Perhaps he, too, is busy with some household task. Like a snapshot in a family album, this painting gives a glimpse of the artist’s family life.


spacer related images 1.  + 2.  + 3.  + bracket spacer
spacer
spacer
1. Julie is fascinated by her nanny’s task.
2. Morisot portrayed herself at work with her daughter by her side.
Berthe Morisot, Berthe Morisot and Julie Manet, 1880-90, drypoint, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, bequest of Harriet C. Weed
3. Morisot’s daughter, Julie, was a regular subject of her mother’s artwork.
Berthe Morisot, Portrait of Julie Manet, 1888-90, drypoint, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, bequest of Harriet C. Weed

 

spacer
   
 
September 2008